July 21, 2004


Yesterday was spent under the sheltering cement span of a massive bridge in Milwaukee, idle in the bus lot-village. The in between hours, toddling round a waterfront ampitheatre. Smoking and sweating and making small talk and holding hands with my man.

Marveling. Always marveling.
Warped Tour.

Brought Miles with, so, he too, could cup his hand and sip from the kid-sewer, have his marrow quaked by the penetrating energy of three acres of America's greatest natural resource, Teenagers™.

Jonah called and we went over to the AP booth to hang out for a few minutes while he set up the tent for a Taking Back Sunday signing. He set up stools, laid out some fresh-from-the-pack Sharpies, scooted the too-anxious back into the 600-deep line. The line was fronted by a boy in a home-made with crayola special "I saw Taking Back Sunday on Warped Tour in Milwaukee today!" shirt, which had the date, some lyrics, band name, location of Warped (Morris Ampitheatre!) and was edged along the bottom of his white Hanes in alternating colored inks "Taking Back Sunday * Vans Warped Tour *Taking Back Sunday * Vans Warped Tour *" repeating, like ric-rac around the edge.

That TODAY IS THE GREATEST DAY! enthusiasm - the pre-emptive sentimentality that pivots on that exact moment - his special time in the AP signing tent with Taking Back Sunday - that public display of the act of cherishing something in a personal way, is what emo has instilled in the culture of fandom. The good times! the best times! most poignant heaving sighs of this young life! Stilted, lifted up! Encased for all eternity like Han Solo in molten lead! I will remember this! This pinnacle experience! Advance Nostalgia for this boy's life!... The sort of reverie that can old be manufactured from the hormones and confused sweeps of a sixteen year old person.

It is not super fandom, and it's not just about loving something, it's not just needing attention, it's not just that reckless 9th grade display of THIS IS WHO I AM, TAKING BACK SUNDAY IS WHAT I BELIEVE IN, WORLD!... This is how emo has taught the young to fan.

I am not sure how I feel about it, because I am not sure what it is setting us up for -aside from the immediate, enforced paradigm of BAND DUDE - FAN heirarchy (which is bunk, natch). Does it matter if it is sincere, or if it's affect? Boy or girl? Will this teach them to run the rah-rah-reverie for anything they are passionate about? Will it last past the summer? I need to find out. I really need to know.

All that said: If you have the mettle, teenage fervor is such an amazing thing to behold. To sweep into the tide of it, all it's impulsive bits, all it's visceral screaming pulse, it's bad tribal tattoos and it's unspoken social mores, the pungent desire to - at once - transgress and fit in perfectly. It is a curious world.

Posted by Jessica at July 21, 2004 02:35 PM | TrackBack